Billy Preston

Billy Preston RKB
First introduced to piano at age 3 and deemed a child prodigy. He was entirely self taught and never had a formal lesson.

Mentored by Ray Charles, and was the only person to ever play with both the Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

He met the Beatles in 1962 in Hamburg when he was a 16 year old organ player in Little Richard’s band

Sometimes referred to as “The fifth Beatle” for his session work with the Beatles as a group, as well as significant contributions to each member individually in their solo projects

It was Billy who coined the phrase “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with”. Steven Stills asked permission to use the line in his lyrics, and proceeded to write the hit “Love The One You’re With” on his debut solo album

A great songwriter in his own right, Billy had #1 songs with “Nothing From Nothing” “Will It Go ‘Round In Circles” and “That’s The Way God Planned it- as well as co-writing “You Are So Beautiful”, a huge hit for Joe Cocker. The song was a tribute to Billy’s mother with whom he had a close relationship.

Billy faced serious drug and legal problems in 1991, but came through it to do extensive touring work with multiple artists for the rest of the 90’s

Billy suffered failing health in his later years exacerbated by malignant hypertension, kidney disease, and Pericarditis. He passed on in 2006